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Re: a cryptographic deal with the devil
Efrem, re your item on tapping and public records. Okay I admit it, I did
miss the point of your proposal that any tapping be made the subject of a
public record. And basically I agree with you on that point. Now the
problem I see is that these agencies will say, "except for taps currently in
process," or "investigations which are still open," which is how the FBI
gets around FOIA a lot of the time. And we all know that in political cases,
the investigation can stay open for a hell of a long time, like until the
targeted individuals die or something.
Maybe the way to deal with the "open investigations" issue is to mandate
disclosure of *something* anyway, in some form, on a regular basis, and
certainly it would be nice to have the scheduled disclosures take place a
month or so before elections...!
I still do not want back doors of any kind in our network.
Now speaking of back doors, wouldn't it be a simple matter for someone to
hack out a system which would detect the signals coming into the back door,
and then do something like turn on a message lamp on the telephones (I'm
thinking PBX here, but also consider that deregulation of local switching
will result in some amount of "neighborhood telcos" using PBXs to resell
service...) Remote access means that some kind of signal has to be sent to
the PBX to turn on the tap, either via normal trunks or some signalling
Re. John Draper's item about cost of complete RNGs as being 4x the parts
cost: that is a standard figure I've seen in use many times. Covers labor
and overhead expenses, including parts for prototypes which fail, and all
that. COmpletely reasonable estimate. Though it would still be nice to
find a less expensive way to do this.
Now that I think of it, I believe that Billy Sq-you-know-who designed one of
these for me many years ago for exactly this purpose, based on discrete
components... and anyone here who knows Bill knows the quality of his
designs... so if I can dig up that piece of paper, I'll see about bringing
it along to one of our meetings (he drew out a complete schematic).